Wednesday, January 7

A Soft Place to Land

I love words. I have seen the power in telling a story. The way people can relate, connect, and find healing and enlightenment is incredible.

I enjoy offering encouragement, painting a picture with my words, or connecting with someone over shared experiences.


But there is another side to my words that is not so pretty.

Sometimes my words are harsh. Sometimes, out of anger or hurt, I wound others by the careless things that I say. I can be cold and mean, unforgiving and rigid.

It happened again just the other night. My 13-year-old and I often clash over schoolwork and expectations, and this night was no exception. I can verbally spar with my children, often backing them into a corner with my words. Daring them to challenge my “rightness.” But this night my son looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “I just wish you wouldn’t get so mad.” And the truth of his words stopped me mid-sentence.

I saw how I was wounding his heart. Crushing his spirit.

Later that night, as I sat at and thought about our interaction, frustrated with myself for how I had treated him and coming up with ways I wanted to do things differently, I realized:

I want to be a soft place to land.

You know those people who can be around anyone without judgment? That easily love others, regardless of who they are?

I want to be that person.

You know that person you can go to and explain how you blew it, and have them still accept you? The person who welcomes you with open arms, and maybe shares a story of their own failings?

I want to be like that.
 
I want to be the kind of person who encourages and uplifts, who leaves others feeling better than they were before they saw me.

I want to be a soft place for my kids to land. A soft place for my husband to land, my friends. Even for those who see things differently than me.

Can I be a person of peace with anyone and everyone around me?

In a world that values opinions and personal rights, putting others in their place and telling others what they should do, think, and be…that’s not me.

I’m exhausted by all the input. And, most of it, I don’t want anyway.

I’m tired of opinions. I’m looking for people who are going to accept me as I am without a façade. Who clearly see my strengths and my weaknesses. Who won’t try to fix everything all the time, but who are just willing to sit with me in the middle of my messy life.

Who understand that sometimes cliché answers aren’t good enough.

I guess I’m looking for a soft place to land, too.

I know it’s a lofty goal, but it's one I’d like to attain.

So how can I start? What changes can I make?

I started by apologizing to my son. I explained how frustrated I get over my own words, and how I want to be different. I told him the things we were doing right. I told him that I loved him. I may have shed a tear or two.

I became a soft place to land. And it felt good.

Who needs you to be a soft place to land? Who can you extend kindness to this week?

Today we are once again linking up with the lovely Holley Gerth, SDG Sisterhood and Jennifer Dukes Lee.

13 comments :

  1. good word, good word, yes, those of us who are encouragers by nature can also use our words to the opposite as well. I'm with you in this, I want to be a safe place to fall.

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    1. Thanks Marlece! Yes, it seems sometimes that our greatest strength, on the flip side, can also be our weakness.

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  2. Oh, we should all feel convicted reading this. I know I do. I remember back to my homeschooling days--particularly while teaching math--when I would get angry with my kids, then feel such regret afterwards. Lots of apologies. More learning on my part than theirs. I want to be a soft place to land too. I'd like to think I'm much softer now, by the grace of God, but I still have LOTS of room to grow.

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    1. Lisa, thank you. I think we all have room to grow and I am so thankful for grace :)

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  3. Yes!! I totally here you and I want to be that soft place to land, too. I found that in order for me to be that way, listening has to be a well-developed skill that I choose to put into practice. Often, I just want my will to be done or to prove my opinion to be right. But this is not how God has asked me to walk (yay for that). I mess up often, but I am learning and being a part of an authentic community really helps me do that.

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    1. Oh yes, the listening is SO important! I want to be so much better at this, especially with those who are closest to me! Thanks for the encouragement Jen.

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  4. Yes, I think we can all agree that we've been there. And, yes, how amazing is His grace that He gives us opportunities to make it right. Thank you for sharing. Happy New Year to you and your family.

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    1. Happy New Year to you too Damarise! Thank you for stopping by! It's nice to know I'm not alone :)

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  5. Wise and important words, Kendra. It is easy to let words flow, especially those of us who love them so. The more I recognize the weight of our words, the more I find I balance and weigh them better. I still haven't mastered the art of thinking before I speak fully, but I am grateful for the gift of the chance to apologize and to make things right because even in that there is a gift of grace and a lesson to learn on this road to learning how to live like Jesus did. :)
    Blessings!
    Dawn

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    1. So true Dawn. I am learning to hold my tongue and remind myself how often I regret words spoken in haste. I think it is a life long lesson! Thank you for the encouragement!

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  6. Wise and important words, Kendra. It is easy to let words flow, especially those of us who love them so. The more I recognize the weight of our words, the more I find I balance and weigh them better. I still haven't mastered the art of thinking before I speak fully, but I am grateful for the gift of the chance to apologize and to make things right because even in that there is a gift of grace and a lesson to learn on this road to learning how to live like Jesus did. :)
    Blessings!
    Dawn

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  7. This is beautiful and what I so desperately want too. There is so much to push our families and they need a safe place to land.

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    1. I agree! I am striving to be this soft place for our family too. Blessings to you!

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